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Thursday, September 15, 2016

The Shameful State of the Missouri Legislature

Missouri got a really dumbed-down, irresponsible "two-fer" yesterday from our state legislators.

This Is the Complex History of Gun Control in the United States of America? | Firearms, Second Amendment

Missouri Lawmakers Loosen Gun Laws, 

Back Voter Photo ID

Fortunately, however, the stupidity is getting a lot of national press.

It's not bad enough cities like Chicago and New Orleans and even our own St. Louis are showing the rather obvious pitfalls of having too many guns in our cities and society, no. Our state legislators have to push for yet more. And not only do they support more "open carry" citizens, they also want to allow them to carry guns virtually everywhere with no training required of any kind.

I say once again, Missouri legislators--the Republican and Right Wing ones, anyway--seem to want to follow Kansas down both a fiscal/financial as well as weapons rabbit hole, so to speak, and wreak havoc on us all.

And as though all that isn't enough, they also want to disenfranchise Americans and take their votes away with these ugly, obscene, un-American "voter ID" laws. It's so bad and blatant what they're doing, one Republican representative even admitted it.

GOP congressman: Voter ID law will 

help Republicans

We need to call "voter ID laws" what they are. It's nothing more than a return to "Jim Crow" laws of the South in the last 100 years. They disenfranchise the poor and minorities. Honestly, they do even more than that, however, since it's been shown that they also effectively take the vote away from the elderly and physically-challenged, as well. (See links, below).

And they--these Republicans and Right Wingers--are getting away with it.

I tell you, folks, once again, we have got to vote these people out, come November. 


Sevesteen said...

We have a constitutional right to vote. We have a constitutional right to keep and bear arms. Both rights are important, neither is unlimited...but both should be treated similarly. It is OK if a state bans violent felons from possessing guns, it's OK if a state bans violent felons from voting. Ideally people should have a grasp of the issues before they vote, they should have a basic understanding of guns before they carry...but mandatory testing has been used to restrict the rights of minorities for voting, and is used today to take away gun rights. I can afford the extra hundreds of dollars that mandatory training and licensing costs. Not everyone can--and many of those people need protection much more than I do. You should be able to prove your identity so your eligibility can be verified for either, but taxes and restrictions of specific constitutional rights should be as minimal as practical.

Unless Missourians are much different than the rest of the US, there won't be a problem with these new laws. Open carry has been legal here in Ohio for decades, and not counting gun events I spot someone once every few years...and the people I've been with have failed to spot them. The law doesn't allow anyone new to carry, it just means you don't have to pay for the privilege. It also hasn't been a problem in the other 11 states that don't require licenses.

We have history as a guide. It shows us that making it easier for the law abiding to carry guns without breaking the law doesn't and won't cause more crime problems. The reason Bloomberg spends so much money here is that it does increase the likelihood that someone will learn about guns, learn how they really work and become politically active in preserving gun rights. Efforts to restrict carry are obviously more about the political part than safety.

Mo Rage said...

Indeed, we do, in fact, have a Constitutional right to vote.

What we don't have is any Constitutional right to block Americans from voting and so, to disenfranchise or even try to disenfranchise them as the Republicans are now doing, repeatedly trying to do and have done for the past few decades, at least.

North Carolina's Deliberate Disenfranchisement of Black Voters

The GOP's Stealth War Against Voters

GOP congressman: Voter ID law will help Republicans

They've gotten away with it and for far, far too long. They're still getting away with it. We need to end it all.

Mo Rage said...

As for your statements that "We have history as a guide. It shows us that making it easier for the law abiding to carry guns without breaking the law doesn't and won't cause more crime problems."

You either don't know the data, the scientific data and studies and facts or you're just out and out lying. I will give you the benefit of the doubt that you don't know the facts and studies so here you are.

1. Where there are more guns there is more homicide (literature review)

Our review of the academic literature found that a broad array of evidence indicates that gun availability is a risk factor for homicide, both in the United States and across high-income countries. Case-control studies, ecological time-series and cross-sectional studies indicate that in homes, cities, states and regions in the U.S., where there are more guns, both men and women are at a higher risk for homicide, particularly firearm homicide.

Hepburn, Lisa; Hemenway, David. Firearm availability and homicide: A review of the literature. Aggression and Violent Behavior: A Review Journal. 2004; 9:417-40.

2. Across high-income nations, more guns = more homicide

We analyzed the relationship between homicide and gun availability using data from 26 developed countries from the early 1990s. We found that across developed countries, where guns are more available, there are more homicides. These results often hold even when the United States is excluded.

Hemenway, David; Miller, Matthew. Firearm availability and homicide rates across 26 high income countries. Journal of Trauma. 2000; 49:985-88.

3. Across states, more guns = more homicide

Using a validated proxy for firearm ownership, we analyzed the relationship between firearm availability and homicide across 50 states over a ten-year period (1988-1997).

After controlling for poverty and urbanization, for every age group, people in states with many guns have elevated rates of homicide, particularly firearm homicide.

Miller, Matthew; Azrael, Deborah; Hemenway, David. Household firearm ownership levels and homicide rates across U.S. regions and states, 1988-1997. American Journal of Public Health. 2002; 92:1988-1993.

To be continued in next response comment.

Mo Rage said...


4. Across states, more guns = more homicide (2)

Using survey data on rates of household gun ownership, we examined the association between gun availability and homicide across states, 2001-2003. We found that states with higher levels of household gun ownership had higher rates of firearm homicide and overall homicide. This relationship held for both genders and all age groups, after accounting for rates of aggravated assault, robbery, unemployment, urbanization, alcohol consumption, and resource deprivation (e.g., poverty). There was no association between gun prevalence and non-firearm homicide.

Miller, Matthew; Azrael, Deborah; Hemenway, David. State-level homicide victimization rates in the U.S. in relation to survey measures of household firearm ownership, 2001-2003. Social Science and Medicine. 2007; 64:656-64.

5. A summary of the evidence on guns and violent death

This book chapter summarizes the scientific literature on the relationship between gun prevalence (levels of household gun ownership) and suicide, homicide and unintentional firearm death and concludes that where there are higher levels of gun ownership, there are more gun suicides and more total suicides, more gun homicides and more total homicides, and more accidental gun deaths.

This is the first chapter in the book and provides and up-to-date and readable summary of the literature on the relationship between guns and death. It also adds to the literature by using the National Violent Death Reporting System data to show where (home or away) the shootings occurred. Suicides for all age groups and homicides for children and aging adults most often occurred in their own home.

Miller M, Azrael D, Hemenway D. Firearms and violence death in the United States. In: Webster DW, Vernick JS, eds. Reducing Gun Violence in America. Baltimore MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013.

6. More guns = more homicides of police

This article examines homicide rates of Law Enforcement Officers (LEOs) from 1996 to 2010. Differences in rates of homicides of LEOs across states are best explained not by differences in crime, but by differences in household gun ownership. In high gun states, LEOs are 3 times more likely to be murdered than LEOs working in low-gun states.

This article was cited by President Obama in a speech to a police association. This article will hopefully bring police further into the camp of those pushing for sensible gun laws.

Swedler DI, Simmons MM, Dominici F, Hemenway D. Firearm prevalence and homicides of law enforcement officers in the United States. American Journal of Public Health. 2015; 105:2042-48.


And then there's this. I'm sure you don't like nor, likely, even agree with this article or the statistics, the facts, the hard reality, in it.

Australia's gun laws stopped mass shootings and reduced homicides

How a Conservative-Led Australia Ended Mass Killings